I’ve already mentioned this to some of you, but here’s the official release. Last week I introduced a new server to the Guru Network: DREXEL – my THIRD web server in only 18 months!
With it I’m building a dedicted hosting infrastructure optimised for self-hosted WordPress sites. Depending on how well it’ll go from here, I’d like to grow the Guru Network into a multi-server environment across the world similar to that of Automattic and WordPress.com.
It all started with a virtual server called VERSLPZY in 2008 which I outgrew almost immediately due to higher than anticipated traffic on my sites. A virtual server is cheaper than a dedicated server because providers can use one physcal server and split it into 10-20 “virtual copies”. It was great to get started but thousands of hits a day across my then 10 sites was just too much for him.
Six months later I grudgingly invested into a dedicated server (HUBERT) who would take over operations on his own, while VERSLPZY would become a backup and development server. HUBERT was only going to be worth his money though if I could re-sell some of his resources.
To my surprise many of my friends and colleagues needed a WordPress site and I was more than happy to help them out – which makes HUBERT work harder than expected so he can pay for his home in an air conditioned rack somewhere in Slough. In fact, he paid for himself very soon.
Fast forward to last week when I wanted to bring more redundancy and speed to the table. Meet DREXEL, my third server only 6 months later, who will split the workload with HUBERT. All database queries will now be sent to DREXEL, while HUBERT can focus on serving static content. Heavy traffic on more than one site at a time can be difficult for one server alone, so now HUBERT has a little friend to help him out.
DREXEL is already implemented across all sites so you’ll immediately enjoy the benefits of a more responsive WordPress Back End as a side effect, as well as slightly faster page loading times.
My plan from here is to build a dedicated hosting network for WordPress sites with a similar infrastructure as WordPress.com (they however are using one WPMU install, and I want to bring the advantages to multiple self hosted WP sites). Expansion plans include multiple database servers across the globe as well as localised content servers with high availability, load balanced servers with live failover redundancy spread over multiple data centres.
No other hosting provider does this currently, so maybe I’ve found a gap in the market here. We’ll see how it goes – I’ll keep you posted.
Until then: Peace and Love from the WordPress Guru!